(DSiWare)

Game Review

Mighty Flip Champs! Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Is Mighty Flip Champs the DSiWare service's first must-have title?

It's no real secret that the majority of DSiWare releases to date can be described as uninspiring at best. DSi owners have had to sit and watch as one mediocre DSiWare title after another has been released on the service with nothing truly unique or original in sight - at least until now. Wayforward is looking to tear up the rulebook with its first DSiWare release Mighty Flip Champs by offering up a game that features a unique blend of platforming and puzzle-solving elements to form what is easily one of the most addictive gaming experiences available on the system. But does this DSiWare release ultimately live up to the immense amount of hype that's surrounded the game and is it worth your hard-earned 800 Nintendo Points?

The basic game play premise in Mighty Flip Champs is quite simple. Your goal in each level is to rescue each of your friends and then reach Fishman, who'll then transport you to the next level. To do this you'll have to guide your character Alta around each level, avoiding the many hazards along the way. This will require you to flip screens in order to reach certain areas in each level. Levels can feature anywhere from two to six different screens to flip through. The screen your currently maneuvering through is located on the top display of the DSi system and the screen that you can flip to is located on the touch display below. You can even use the stylus to place a "Mark of Champions" box that will show up on both the top and bottom screens. This can be a useful tool for marking where you need to be in certain tricky situations in order to progress in each level.

You can move Alta around in all four directions and you can flip screens at will by using any one of the action buttons. Occasionally you'll even have to flip certain switches or climb certain wire fences in order to gain access to certain parts of each level. You can even flip screens while Alta is falling, thus saving her at the last minute from a pit of spikes and landing safely on a ledge or fence. It's this careful timing of your flips that can mean the difference between reaching that hard-to-reach area or falling to a certain death. So while there might not be a ledge in front of you on the current screen, you might find one on the next screen below, but you will have to always make sure that the screen you're flipping to won't cause Alta to land inside of a wall or she'll lose a life and have to start the level all over again. Luckily the controls in the game are extremely responsive and very intuitive, which allows you to pick up game play techniques quickly and easily. And considering how incredibly tricky many of the later levels are, you'll be thankful that you won't have to spend all of your time trying to figure out a set of complicated moves.

Each area is broken down into eight levels. The final level of each area is a special stage where the game will flip screens automatically. You'll get a tiny warning before each flip as a clock icon will pop up in the middle of the screen letting you know the game is about to switch the displays. You'd better be in position and ready because you don't have much time in between flips to maneuver; as you might imagine, charthis can make for one challenging and nerve-wracking level. The good news is that these challenge levels are extremely well designed and offer just the right change of pace after you've played a good number of the regular levels in each area.

It's the extreme simplicity of the play control that ultimately makes Mighty Flip Champs so addictive and enjoyable. Some of the levels are downright devious in design and will force you to play them many times before you'll finally discover the solution. You're also awarded a grade for each level based on how fast your completion time was and how many flips it took you to complete; this offers plenty of incentive to go back and replay the 40+ levels in order to achieve a better grade. This feature adds a ton of replay value to an already rock-solid gaming experience.

Mighty Flip Champs might not be the most graphically impressive DS title out there but it scores big points in the charm and personality category. Not only does each area offer up its own unique theme and visual style, but there's plenty of color variety in each area and it makes keeping track of flips easy with the way each screen generally features it own unique color scheme to differentiate it from the others. Even the characters themselves are very well drawn and show a lot of imagination in their outlandish designs. It's clear that the developers at Wayforward put a lot of time and thought into the visual aspect of the game and it really pays off in the finished product. It's easily one of the most polished DSiWare titles to date and a testament to the incredible attention to detail afforded by the developer.

The musical score in Mighty Flip Champs is varied, but catchy. Each area in the game has its own musical track. So while you will get to hear basically the same tune during each of the 8 levels in each area, they're lengthy and catchy enough that you certainly won't mind. Luckily, just about the time you are beginning to get tired of the current track, you move on to a new area and get a brand new one to listen to. You'll also be treated to a short tune announcing each new level, not to mention the musical piece that plays each time your character dies (a tune you're going to become quite familiar with during the game's later levels). The sound effects are also very well done and offer up a lot of variety to the overall audio experience. As unique and charming as the artwork in the game is, it's nice to see the same attention being put into the musical presentation.

Conclusion

Creating a great game idea is impressive in and of itself, but you have to appreciate it when a developer goes the extra mile and surrounds that great game play idea with high quality artwork and music to give the overall experience that little something extra. Wayforward has once again created a unique gaming experience that not only shows off the strengths of the system it's created for, but also provides one of the most addictive gaming experiences you're ever likely to encounter. Not only will you have a blast playing through the tricky levels the first time through the game, but it's equally as much fun to go back and try to achieve "S" rank on all of the levels as well. In the end, Mighty Flip Champs represents exactly the kind of high quality gaming experience DSi owners have been wishing for from the service and should prove to be a tough act to follow for any future DSiWare releases.

More Stories

Game Trailer

Check out Voldi Way, the self-proclaimed tyrannical overlord of WayForward sharing a bit of new info on their upcoming DSiWare game, Mighty Flip Champs!

User Comments (57)

flatspikes

#1

flatspikes said:

Holy smokes... could this be a turning point for DSi Ware? How long till the EU release I wonder....

y2josh

#2

y2josh said:

Possibly the Goo of the DSi. EDIT: I don't know for a fact, just going by the review. I don't have a DSi :)

Oh and now they can go ahead and get their sequel for this in production... Might Flip Clock to Calculator!

Homer_Simpson

#4

Homer_Simpson said:

It looks like it very well may be a turning point for DSiWare, with Mario Vs. Donkey Kong due out in the US this Monday....
Hopefully MFC comes to EU DSiWare tomorrow...

terry908

#5

terry908 said:

I have cleared the game already. There are 41 levels in total, and i got all the S ranks. However, I would like to add that most of the S grades are not that difficulty to achieve. And I love the last stage very much. A great game 9/10

warioswoods

#6

warioswoods said:

While I've greatly enjoyed the game and would certainly recommend it to anyone, I actually wouldn't rate it above the two Art Style games I've downloaded, each of which has a far more polished presentation than this title. Flip Champs has rather cheap looking menus and splash screens, and no memorable music -- it's still great fun and well worth playing, but I don't understand the hyping of this as the pinnacle of DSiWare.

CorbsAdmin

#7

Corbs said:

I'm just the opposite. The Art Style games have been enjoyable, but seem kinda sloppy to me in terms of presentation. Different strokes, I guess. :)

DamoAdmin

#8

Damo said:

This looks amazing. Awesome review Corbie! Let's hope Wayforward do more DSi stuff in the future!

flatspikes

#9

flatspikes said:

So maybe not the turning point after all... will be interesting to keep an eye on the Metacritic score... Still I'm probably going to grab this if I can scrape the points together... As for the Art Style debate it's just got Nemrem to beat for me as that's the one I play most.

DazzaAdmin

#10

Dazza said:

This is the first DSiWare game I feel remotely excited about tbh. I have downloaded the Art Style games of course, whilst I find them fun and addictive they don't personally grab me all that much. This looks like a really solid release from WayForward.

Nice review Corbinator, I shall eagerly await MFC Euro release. Hopefully very soon!!

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#11

Philip_J_Reed said:

I have to get this...I've been wanting it since I first heard about it. And I'm really starting to think that WayForward deserves every penny they keep asking me for. :)

rayword45

#13

rayword45 said:

I only played 2 levels at a friends house (I don't have a DSi yet) and I must tell you, this review is off by just one point. MFC obviously deserves a 10.

thewiirocks

#14

thewiirocks said:

I'm with Corbie and Dazza on this one. The Art Style games are nice, but they feel like the minigames they are. Mighty Flip Champs looks, feels, and plays like a full-blown DS game.

MFC deserves a 9/10. Though it's shocking that Corbie didn't give it a 7.... (I kid! I kid! :P)

siavm

#17

siavm said:

This is a great game and a good review. And with whats coming next, dsi is truly worth what I payed for it.

Cheezy

#21

Cheezy said:

It's a good game, I actually wasn't excited about it. I got the points to download anyway, and it's good. I'm only on 3-1.

Bahamut_ZERO

#22

Bahamut_ZERO said:

Looks cool and all, but I'm broke. I have a ton of stuff to buy, and right now I'm putting that $8 to Klonoa instead. However, when I do finish all my games (which could take till September).

@wiirocks: I don't kid. I honestly thought this would've gotten a 7. After all it is Corbie :P

worrybomb

#23

worrybomb said:

Darn you, Corbie. This game along with Swords and Soldiers and possibly Mario vs. DK: Minis March Again is going to use up all my Nintendo Points cards I've saved up. I hope I have enough for Cave Story when the time comes.

However, I'll probably give MFC a download from all the positive reviews I'm hearing from everyone that has played it.

And about the Art Style games, I don't really think of them as mini-games of any kind. They are more like "pick up and play" games. Pictobits, for example, won't end in 3 minutes time which is what an average mini-game would last. The presentation is indeed simple compared to other titles on their respected digital service but Art Style is all about simplicity but with engaging gameplay to match it. I still play me some Pictobits from time to time.

Slapshot

#24

Slapshot said:

LOL CORBINATOR....The Terminator of all things Nintendo and 7 lol.

Awesoeme review Corbie and dead on. Love the final level stages where its an uncontrolable flip. Lots of fun and hopefully the sequel will have more of them.

Bahamut_ZERO

#25

Bahamut_ZERO said:

Gah, I have 800 points left in my DSi. It's so tempting to buy this, but I don't want Pop to come out next week or the new Mario Minis to get a 9 too!

Oh, why can't nno keep their promise and release Pop now!

Crunc

#26

Crunc said:

I am only a short way into the game, but so far I can't agree with this review. Yes it is a very nicely done game, but are these puzzles actually fun? I can't imagine wanting to go back and play levels over again. It was fine up to 1-5 and then it just felt like a chore. Maybe as I get farther it will grow on me, but even if it does, a game that starts out just feeling like work, such that the primary feeling upon completing a level is not satisfaction, but feeling that you are glad that level is over, doesn't deserve anything near a 9/10.

Pegasus

#27

Pegasus said:

I think this game and the Art Style ones can peacefully co-exist. I quite enjoy both. I always smirk when people say the AS series' presentation isn't all that great. It's a point of that franchise to be minimalistic, while featuring enticing gameplay. Anyway, back to Mighty Flip Champs. It's good fun, but I'd give it an 8.

McGruber

#28

McGruber said:

Just so everyone knows, the developers have stated that they will be deciding whether or not to make a new Shantei game based on the sales of this one!

CorbsAdmin

#29

Corbs said:

I would love to see a new Shantae game on DSi. Matt, if you're reading this...I'll beg if necessary! :P

CorbsAdmin

#31

Corbs said:

I'll grovel. I might could even turn on a few tears if it called for it. :P

warioswoods

#32

warioswoods said:

@Crunc

To a large extent, I agree with you. I haven't quite reached the final levels yet, but I can already tell that, once completed, I'll have absolutely no inclination to ever play this game again. At first, I was going for all the S ranks, but then I came to realize that getting a better score is little more than mindless memorization of the correct path. There's nothing that makes returning to a level any kind of new experience, it's just a matter of going through the motions again.

The Art Style games reward endless replay, for each time through a stage is a unique experience. Aquia is as much a rhythm game as a puzzle game in my mind, so that each time you play a level, you get an entirely new aural experience, with your percussive shoulder buttons, the melodies made by traversing the board up and down, and the looping / undulating rhythms produced by long chains. Picobits, like any good puzzle game, produces a unique challenge every time you play a higher level, and involves real strategy, not memorization.

Calling the Art Style games 'mini-games' is absolute nonsense; that would mean that classic puzzle games like Tetris and Dr. Mario are minigames, which certainly isn't the case. There's more depth in a well-designed puzzler than in your typical platformer.

thewiirocks

#33

thewiirocks said:

@Corbie - Shante? I'll just jump straight to the groveling.

Pleeeeaaassse give us Shante, WayForward! PLEEEASSE? We've been patiently waiting since WiiWare was released! Please? :D

@warioswoods - I do agree that MFC doesn't have a great deal of replay value. Most games of this genre don't. (see Toki Tori for another example) IMHO, that does nothing to devalue this game. There is more than enough levels to make up for the lack of replayability.

Art Style games are decent, but I hardly find them inspired as puzzlers. Aquia was repetitive and got rather boring rather quickly. PictoBits was probably one of the best Art Style games I've seen, but I personally can only take it in small doses. In result, I've put far more time into MFC than I have PictoBits. Ergo, the value proposition makes sense IMHO.

And yes, you could call the base game of Tetris and Dr. Mario minigames. What separates them is the implementation. Tetris is rarely shipped as a straight-up, one player, infinite game. That option is available, but there are usually puzzles, weapons, multiplayer, and other features added in that make the total package more than the sum of its parts. Same goes for Dr. Mario, Panel de Pon, and other popular puzzle titles. (Except for Bejeweled. Total minigame. I can't believe people pay money for it.)

Obviously we're talking about different strokes for different folks. If you feel PictoBits is more fun, more power to you. But there's no denying the size and scope of the MFC title. Perhaps you would disagree, but I feel there is very little that would have prevented this from becoming a cartridge title. Especially when compared against other entries in the overarching genre. (e.g. Polarium)

warioswoods

#34

warioswoods said:

@thewiirocks

I'd actually put Aquia above Pictobits, although both are excellent titles. Aquia requires a great deal of speed and strategic skill in order to master at higher levels, and, as I noted, (if you hook it up to nice speakers or use headphones) its musical accompaniment is brilliant as it unfolds and changes based on your chains / air supply / movements / flipping. Progressing through the three shapes means targeting very different techniques in the first two which you need to combine in the third in order to succeed.

"Tetris is rarely shipped as a straight-up, one player, infinite game."

Neither are the two Art Style releases on DSi; there are sets of defeat-able levels, not just an infinite mode, and the levels require completely different strategies or greatly honed skills as you progress (at least as much as MFC, which has used the same tricks with small variations for all the levels thus far).

MFC has been fun, but it just isn't the pinnacle of DSiWare. Going through most of the levels is a fairly mechanical matter, watching the bottom screen, following the different paths until you reach each animal or goal, and then, if you want, replaying the level to do exactly the same sequence faster from memorization. The boss-like levels are a nice change of pace, but not all that different, they just require speed. I'd say that the boss-section at the end of each Aquia level, especially in the higher levels, can be much more tense and challenging than the boss-ish levels in MFC, partly because there is something real at stake, like a real boss fight -- if you lose, you'll lose the entire level, and have to start over from the beginning, which is a real issue on the higher, more difficult stages. In MFC, the ?? boss-like levels can be played all you want with no consequences, you'll just start that one little section over again until you beat it, nothing to be afraid of whatsoever.

MFC is a solid download, but it seems only to be garnering this attention due to being a platformer rather than a straight-up puzzle game, which doesn't really make sense, since the mechanics of it are tremendously simple and could just as easily be presented as an abstract puzzle (no jumping, physics, or anything platformer-ish involved, just moving in a maze according to the changing pages).

CorbsAdmin

#35

Corbs said:

I tend to disagree about the replay value. I've already gone back and gotten "S" ranks on most of the levels, and I don't plan to stop until I have them all. And it's super easy to just pick up and play, so I can do levels in between stuff I'm doing for the site.

I am happy to see people enjoying the Art Style games, they're just not as appealing to me, much the way MFC isn't as appealing to some of you I guess. As I said, different strokes. :)

Slapshot

#36

Slapshot said:

I really hope we get a DSi VC MAINLY because Ive never played Shantae and I really really want to.

Odnetnin

#37

Odnetnin said:

Mighty Flip Champs! is my favorite DSiWare game as of late. However, I don't own any of the Art Style games some of you seem to prefer over MFC!, so I will check those out and share my impressions. My first comment, btw.

Odnetnin

#38

Odnetnin said:

Also, would someone be so kind as to explain to me how to use [bbcode] in comments? I'm not familiar with this type of style formatting.

BleachFan

#39

BleachFan said:

@ first i was thinking this would never come out for a while (i dont keep up with news that much) so i bought Aquia with my last 500 pts. When it came out i was extremely mad at myself. Then i saw through my halfway-gouged eye that it was 800 pts and i couldn't have gotten it anyway, so i'm still fully satisfied with my most recent purchase. Oh well, i guess i can get some more pts...

Tannman42

#40

Tannman42 said:

As soon as this is released in Europe I'll definitely download it. Nice to see a developer put some effort in a DsiWare game.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#43

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

I wasn't intially convinced, now its on my insta-download list for whne it comes EU's way...come soon please...

SpaghettiToastBook

#44

SpaghettiToastBook said:

"can feature anywhere from two to six different screens to flip through."
I've seen seven pages, like on level 3-4. This is also my first post!

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